According to sources close to the situation, Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has hired a financial adviser to help evaluate a potential acquisition offer for social media giant Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR).
Reports indicate Google has tapped a familiar face in Lazard to advise during the M&A process. From Bloomberg:
In tapping Lazard Ltd., Google hasn’t indicated it will definitely make an offer for Twitter. But the move suggests that Google is evaluating the option, pitting the search giant against other potential bidders including Walt Disney Co. and Salesforce.com Inc.
Lazard also served as Google’s adviser earlier this year amid the company’s buyout of software developer Apigee. That $625 million deal is expected to close by the end of 2016.
A deal for Twitter would be far more expensive. Reports indicate TWTR could be demanding a valuation as high as $30 billion, with a bidding war not out of the question, considering the sheer number of firms expressing interest.
For its part, Twitter has brought on an advisory team as well:
Twitter hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. to solicit potential buyers after receiving interest from Salesforce, people familiar with the situation have said. The company, which has seen user growth stagnate for more than a year, has been trying to reshape its identity by focusing on video and live events.
Alphabet shares closed at $804.06 on Friday, up $1.42 (+0.18%). Year-to-date, GOOGL has risen 3.35%.